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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

Over the years, EPA worked with the state, the local community and the site’s potentially responsible parties to coordinate ecological restoration work and redevelopment on specific portions of the site.

In 1998, EPA and the state signed agreements to provide public access to open space near the Arkansas River. State and local governments purchased more than 2,300 acres of ranch land that serve as wildlife habitat and recreational resources.

Another example of redevelopment is a $1.5 million public sports complex. The complex includes a soccer field built in 2009 on a former zinc smelter. One of EPA’s national partners, the United States Soccer Foundation, awarded a $10,000 grant to develop initial plans for the facility. Community support also led to the creation of a 21,000-square-foot concrete skate park that opened in fall 2013. This was one component of a community-driven initiative called the Huck Finn Park Project that will upgrade an existing Leadville park with new skating facilities, repaired tennis courts, and a new building for park equipment storage, restrooms and concessions.

The community also incorporated reuse of remaining byproducts into the design of the Mineral Belt Trail, which opened in 2000. This nationally recognized recreational trail highlights the community’s history and heritage. Reuse of the California Gulch Superfund site now offers Leadville residents and visitors expanded recreational opportunities, including the Arkansas River Trail, a 5-mile loop along the Arkansas River.

In 2014, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission honored the site with a Gold Metal Trout Waters designation. The designation highlights the Upper Arkansas River's improved water quality and revitalized habitats for trout and other wildlife.

Also in 2014, Lake County received a $400,000 brownfields assessment grant from EPA. Following the deletion of the property from the NPL, Poverty Flats (the Old Railyard) is currently being developed into a multi-use complex with 200+ residential, commercial, and recreational properties.

Watch the videos, From Metals to Medals and Revitalizing the Future of a Mining Mega Site.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA had data on 168 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 1,165 people and generated an estimated $85,395,571 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Case Studies and Success Stories

Recreation and Tourism Reuse and the Benefit to Community: California Gulch Case Study (2014) (PDF) (13 pp, 1.1 MB, About PDF)

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